Negative

Is there a God? We already have amassed more than 2 thousand (2,059 as of August 3, 2020) deaths from COVID-19 compared to Japan and Taiwan with more or less than a hundred fatalities. Throw in there Vietnam with a single confirmed loss (of life) at this point.

As I write, the president’s sense went up to the north of illogic flip-flopping on his early pronouncement to impose the right quarantine level reverting NCR and other coronavirus hotspots to a harsh MECQ after already giving notice of a less hassle GCQ casting a ray of indecisiveness on the administration’s inkling on whether to relate first with businesspersons or medical frontliners. The nonsense of it all is that this administrative time bomb exploded one or two days after the issuance of an official order to ease international flight restrictions with the reopening of gyms and fitness centres already thumbed up.

This must be the humming sound of the executive’s impression that Filipinos are “pasaway” (hard-headed) goading them as having the herd immunity to withstand the choking effects of the suffocating pandemic. Little that these officials know that this condescending view of ordinary citizens is a backlash on their own persona.

In anguish, hospital staffers cry for rest in the face of less or no hazard pay despite the nurses earning a recent raise that failed to attract extra medical practitioners to sign up for the uphill battle ahead. Uniformed personnel continued to apply strongman tactics in enforcing health protocols at the expense of human rights and (human) lives, perhaps, sending a message to the Catholic clergies that if they can’t distance themselves from politics, “the boss” doesn’t give a damn, too, about separation of Church and State.

So-called non-essential workers, who got used to the lack of transportation upon their return to offices, were welcomed back by either mass layoffs or reduced salaries for companies to stem the tide of 3 ½ months of business lockdown further raising income inequality and hunger peppered with inadequate social amelioration dole-outs that are not even equivalent to a decent family’s single month budgetary requirement. Even if the labourers run aplenty, only top government officials of the land take home more than enough pay with normal employees literally left with mere crumbs—and higher risk of infection due to the miserable conditions (intermittent water supply, lack of electricity, disorderly dwellings, unsanitary surroundings) they go home to.

Now, the legislators rejected the ABS-CBN franchise renewal which means no free TV and radio reaching the fringes of society in the remotest of remote areas; “your honours” passed the ATA (Anti-Terrorism Act) that might instantly turn unsuspecting poor fellows into suspected fall guys hiding drugs or protest paraphernalia in their shanties; these dignitaries also created the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act whose SAP (social amelioration program) leaves much to be desired and whose loan-brokered funds left the government coffers and went missing into the pockets of the “chosen few.” Then, the judiciary, whose majority of associate justices are appointed by the “acting Philippine God” is sure to have a field day in junking appeals against administrative-driven legislations like the ATA and maybe, soon, Martial Law.

In the course of history, man has had one too many shortcomings that were repeated time and again without delay in a never ending cycle that proves, in a way, the Christian power of Resurrection.

This is such a weird moment in mankind’s existence when being POSITIVE means becoming NEGATIVE. Or, has this been the norm ever since? I’m afraid this isn’t the COVID-induced “new normal” that everyone thinks it is.

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